“The City of Sacramento wants our customers to let Mother Nature water their lawns,” said Dave Brent, Director of the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities. “Sprinklers should be turned off when it is raining and can be kept off for several days or possibly even weeks afterwards because the moisture from the rain is still in the soil and feeding the grass and plants.”
"The city is working towards a 20 percent water use reduction and sprinklers are a large part of our everyday water use,” reminded Brent. “In fact, for most homes, sprinklers make up more than 50 percent of their water use. So cutting back on sprinkler days and length of time that they run is key to helping the city meet its goal and protect our water resources for the dry summer months ahead.”
The city wants to remind residents to monitor the moisture and not water if the ground is soft. An easy test is to stick a screwdriver in the grass, if it goes in easily, then the lawn doesn't need to be watered.
The drought intensified over the last week in the Western U.S. as the region swelters under a heatwave and firefighters battle major wildfires.
Dangerous fire weather conditions has prompted one federal agency to impose fire restrictions on public lands in northern California.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
California and federal agencies say a new strategy is needed to save the endangered Delta smelt.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'